Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) has become one of the top priorities on the Agenda of almost all supranational bodies (OECD, EU, UN) and many jurisdictions. Due to the overall lack of revenues by Countries and the innumerable tax-related leaks (Luxleaks, Panama papers, etc.) along with the recent and ongoing changes within the worldwide international tax…

On June 27, 2016 the EU Commission published the long awaited Starbucks State Aid decision (see here).  The EU Commission’s decision challenges the outcome of the Advanced Pricing Agreement (APA) between the Netherlands Tax Authority (Tax Authority) and Starbucks Manufacturing BV (SMBV), a wholly owned and controlled coffee roasting operation. Below is the Part I…

“Improper and plainly undermines legal certainty and the rule of law.”  This is how four U.S. senators – including the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee – recently described the European Commission’s State aid investigation into tax rulings by Member States, including into Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple. Of course the…

1. The Tendency We live in a time where the media, politicians, NGOs and activists increasingly are preoccupied with international tax matters. A simultaneous preoccupation is observed among the OECD, G20, EU countries and most other developed countries alike. This has led to continuously increasing regulatory requirements and strengthened legislation towards companies. The tendency is…

1. The international context: OECD giant steps towards international transparency Last year OECD released its Update on Voluntary Disclosure Programs: A pathway to tax compliance, a renewed edition of the survey published in 2010; the 2015 update was aimed at providing guidance to governments wishing to offer taxpayers the chance to come forward and become…

I recently participated in a seminar on tax & innovation in Naples, my home town where I stay often to arrange personal issues, which has a sparkling start-up community, in an increasingly conducive ecosystem. I was trying to remain engaging for non-tax folks and not sleep them out with tax technical issues, so I structured my short…

In highly dramatic fashion the French tax authorities and IT specialists raided Google’s headquarters and McDonalds. I don’t own Google stock. I’m not in favor of Google’s near monopoly on search (though it has accomplished this by offering a really great product and (free) work tools that make my life much easier).  I don’t eat…

This month I will discuss the important topic for the anti-money laundering compliance officer, wherein the AML systems overlap with the requirement for tax compliance, and that tax compliance requirement requires tax self certification from each customer of a financial institution. I will provide insight about five topics: The Panama Papers FATCA and its related…

Massive leaks of information on offshore activity like the Panama Papers illustrate the need for an enhanced global tax cooperation with an improved and deeper interjurisdictional information sharing scheme. In fact, efforts towards reaching a global tax cooperation on obtaining and sharing interjurisdictional information is a longstanding endeavor of the international community, whose origins may…

George Orwell’s parable, Animal Farm, offers insights on political and governmental institutions that bear revisiting from time to time. BEPS Action 6 with the broad title “Prevent treaty abuse” has among its objectives “developing model treaty provisions to prevent the granting of treaty benefits in inappropriate circumstances” and “to clarify that tax treaties are not…

The dust has not settled yet and there is probably much more to come from this and future leaks. Investigations have started, international cooperation will be key and hopefully those that have not respected the law will be punished. Here below a couple of reflections based on what I read/seen/heard these days between one toy…

A critical appraisal of the EU Switch Over Rule and the Indian Equalization Levy At present, it is unavoidable to recognize that the international tax scenario is in transition to a much more inter-nation equitable system, where the national tax base will be better protected against erosion and profit-shifting corporate manipulations than it was in…

The OECD BEPS project was kicked off by the observation that the interaction of domestic tax systems sometimes leads to an overlap, resulting in double taxation as well as gaps, which result in an item of income not being taxed anywhere, thus resulting in so called “double non-taxation”. Co-operation among countries historically addressed double taxation…